Telford and Wrekin council has announced that households will no longer receive free food caddy liners, as the local authority said they are “no longer sustainable” for its waste contractor Veolia to provide.
The council rolled out the food waste collection service for its 167,000 residents in September 2019 (see letsrecycle.com story), saying it will deliver estimated cost savings of £372,000 per year.
At the time, the council and Veolia opted to give away free liners to encourage as many people as possible to recycle their food waste.
However in a statement, Telford and Wrekin said that almost 10 million individual liners had been distributed since the service was rolled out, and “it is unsustainable for Veolia to continue to provide them free of charge to all households”.
A council spokesperson said: “The news may frustrate some people, but it is hoped that everyone continues to recycle their food waste. Recycling is one of the best ways we can have a positive impact on our planet and recycling food plays a vital part in helping the borough reduce CO2 emissions.”
Households that share a communal outdoor food wheelie bin, such as flats, will continue to receive free liners to transport their food waste to their communal bin. New build properties will also receive a free roll of caddy liners with their containers.
“Households have options. They can line their caddy with newspaper, junk mail or kitchen roll, place food directly in their caddy or buy their own biodegradable caddy liner”
Alternatives provided by the council include recommendations that residents line their caddy with newspaper, junk mail or kitchen roll, place food directly in their caddy or buy their own biodegradable caddy liners, “which are widely available in supermarkets and discount shops”.
The council said that since September 2019, when the service started, until June 2020, 4,762 tonnes of food waste have been collected.
The statement explained that Veolia crews left a hanger on caddies presented during the week of 7 September explaining that free liners will no longer be provided. This advised residents to present their food caddies for collection during the week of 14 September if they would like to receive a final roll of 52 caddy liners, which the council said should last 6-12 months.
Steve Mitchell, Veolia director – West, said “We have been thrilled with the success of the weekly food waste service that was introduced in September last year for Telford and Wrekin.
“Our decision to remove the free liners is down to the vast quantity we have been delivering. In total to date we have delivered almost 180,000 rolls of liners and this is unsustainable. We know that lining the caddy is something many people do, but instead of using liners, more environmentally friendly ways would be to use items such as junk mail or newspapers or in fact use nothing at all.
“I would like to thank residents for using the weekly food waste service and encourage them to continue despite this small change.”